Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Fluconazole?

In our latest question and answer, we discuss the safety considerations when combining alcohol with fluconazole.

Question

I took a one-day fluconazole dose, a 150 mg pill, for a yeast infection. Is it OK to drink alcohol two days later? How long before it leaves your system?

Asked by Patty On Sep 03, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Sep 03, 2022
Last updated Jul 18, 2024

Key points

  • There is no specific drug interaction between alcohol and Diflucan (fluconazole), but alcohol can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of certain side effects.
  • Diflucan (fluconazole) stays in your system for a long time, around 6 to 10 days. If you wish to completely avoid drinking alcohol while the drug is in your system, you need to wait that amount of time.

Answer

There is no drug interaction between fluconazole and alcohol, but it generally is not recommended to drink alcohol while recovering from an infection.

Alcohol has the propensity to decrease immune function, at least in the short term. In addition, it can potentially worsen medication side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach

Problems With Alcohol And Fluconazole

In regard to taking alcohol after fluconazole administration, there is no drug interaction as mentioned above. However, if you are experiencing any symptoms from medication use such as nausea or abdominal pain, alcohol may worsen those side effects. Fluconazole lasts in the body for a considerable period of time, 6 to 10 days. If you wish to completely avoid alcohol while the drug is present, you would need to wait that period of time.

What Is Fluconazole?

Fluconazole, also known by the brand name Diflucan, is a systemic anti-fungal that is commonly used for yeast infections and oral thrush infections. It is generally well tolerated but has been known to cause headache, nausea and abdominal pain.

An interesting characteristic of fluconazole is its ability to eradicate many fungal infections, including vaginal fungal infections, in a single dose. This is due to how fluconazole works and the relatively long half-life of the drug.

How Does Fluconazole Work?

Fluconazole works by inhibiting the synthesis of a vital component (ergosterol) of the fungal cell membrane. A single dose of fluconazole has a reported half-life of 30-50 hours. In general, a drug takes about 5 half-lives to be completely metabolized and eliminated from the body. This essentially means that the drug is present and active in the body for 6 to 10 days! That is why a single dose is effective for eradicating infections.

After a single dose, symptoms tend to get better after 1 to 3 days and the majority of infections are cleared in 7 to 10 days. The clinical cure rate with single doses of fluconazole is around 69%, which is why sometimes doctors will recommend taking a second dose of fluconazole 7 days after the initial dose.

Final Words

Thanks for your question and feel free to reach back out anytime!

References

  • Diflucan Prescribing Information, AccessFDA
  • Moderate alcohol consumption and the immune system: a review, PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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